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Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the insertion of the Plantar Fascia to the medial calcaneous (the heel bone). The Plantar Fascia is one of the major support structures of the medial longitudinal arch. Heel spurs are common with Plantar Fasciitis, but are not always present. Excessive Pronation contributes to Plantar Fasciitis. Pronation is normal; it is excessive pronation that is damaging. Research shows strength and flexibility deficits in the posterior calf and foot in patients with Plantar Fasciitis. Excessively tight calf muscles work against the medial longitudinal arch and need to be stretched. Heel pads, heel cushions and heel cups are not effective in treating Plantar Fasciitis unless a stretching program is included.

Despite the claims of various product manufactures there is no cure all. It is a fact that excessive motion in certain parts of the foot increase tension on the fascia. A Over the Counter orthotics/insoles will reduce the excessive motion and give the area the chance to heal. However soft tissue injuries can take up to 36 hours to reach their maximal tenderness so it is difficult to decide when to resume normal activity. If the over the counter orthotics/insoles are not worn and the excessive motion is allowed to resume the fascia will be re-injured. Treatments vary and most of the time it is a combination of treatments that work for most people. Over the counter orthotics/insoles orthotics, stretching, decreasing activity, physical therapy, taping, ice, contrast baths, ultra sound, reflexology, cortisone injections and surgery being the last resort.

Over the Counter orthotics/insoles are very effective in treating plantar fasciitis and also need to be accompanied by stretching exercises. Ask your health care professional which stretches will work best for you. Good fitting supportive shoes with a firm shank area and reinforced heel counters must also be worn. Some other conditions that can cause heel pain in different areas of the heel may be as follows: Achilles Tendonitis, Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease in adolescents), Calcaneal Stress Fractures, Retrocalcaneal Bursitis and Pump Bumps. Heel Pain Syndrome is a very common cause of heel pain but is the most poorly understood. Localized, central, or medial heel pad tenderness with no tenderness along the Plantar Fascia and a negative heel squeeze test is usually referred to as heel pain syndrome.